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IntNSA USA Interim President’s Blog

Hello everyone! I am excited to be introducing myself to you today as the interim president of IntNSA USA. My name is Kristin Waite-Labott, and I am an RN from Wisconsin. 

A brief history…I have been a nurse for 30 years this year, all those years in Wisconsin. I currently work as a clinical nurse educator at a behavioral health hospital in SE Wisconsin, as a nurse coach at a virtual substance use program for medical professionals, and I do some public speaking around the country (and a couple of international places now) sharing my recovery journey to raise awareness on SUD in healthcare professionals. 

I have been involved with IntNSA since 2019 when I was asked to start the Eastern WI chapter, which I did, and I continue to serve as president of that chapter. I received my CARN in July 2020. I have also been a Director-at-Large with IntNSA Global since October 2020 and have been leading the Focus Area 4 group that has worked on refining the IntNSA Branding and Communications specifics. If there is anything else you want to know about me, just ask!

Let me introduce the interim board:

  1. Lisa Domenico will serve as president-elect; she is currently the president of the Florida State IntNSA chapter.
  2. Karen Ragaisis from Connecticut will serve as secretary.
  3. John Silvani from Ohio will serve as treasurer; currently Director-at-Large with IntNSA Global.
  4. Directors-at-Large:
    1. Kathy Fornili from Maryland; she is past president of IntNSA Global.
    2. Bobby Greenwood from Texas.
    3. Theresa Fay-Hillier from Pennsylvania; currently serving as President Elect with FAN.
    4. Charon Burda, Maryland; she is a Director-at-Large with IntNSA Global.
    5. Don Howe from Texas; currently a Director-at-Large with IntNSA Global.
    6. Rosann Reagan, Pennsylvania.
    7. And I want to make mention of the late Nancy Altman from North Carolina, who most recently served as FAN president

I am grateful to our interim board for their willingness to step forward.

We are well aware that the evolution of IntNSA Global has been challenging. That was the major driver of the vote last year to create IntNSA USA. To be honest, the USA was not getting the bandwidth it needed. Although we recognize that we are all connected, state to state, nation to nation, and that we have much to learn from each other, each nation requires its own structure and must remain flexible to move in the direction that its members require. We will accomplish that with the formation of IntNSA USA. As interim president of IntNSA USA I will push the American agenda. 

There will be no impact to members when we branch out, it will be a smooth transition. We are working hard to make certain you do not have issues with your membership, journal access, e-learning portal access, and access to our website. We are reviewing and enhancing our member benefits to confirm IntNSA Global as well as IntNSA USA have support and access to what members find meaningful. We are also working on our price point and membership levels to ensure access is available to all nurses -students, LPNs, RNs, APRN, and DNPs, all nurses.

Prime Management, via Robert who you all know very well, has been engaged to assist us with set up of our Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and filing our 501(c)3. We will be filing these soon and hope to have approval by fall. All good things take time, so our hope is to have complete bifurcation from IntNSA Global by springtime. Once that is complete, we hope to open the conversation with all of our State Chapters to explore their needs, and determine their priorities, with the offer to ‘grandfather’ all state chapter members into the main IntNSA USA family and wider IntNSA Global community.   If a State Chapter does not exist, members will be linked with another active state and encouraged to set up a chapter in their state. We will improve that process to make it seamless.

Kristin Waite-Labott,
Interim IntNSA USA President

As interim president of IntNSA USA I will also serve on the President’s Council that consists of IntNSA country presidents from around the world. As Dr. Clancy has explained, the President’s Council will have a direct global impact on addictions nursing. We cannot ignore that we are connected as part of a global community. Being active in the global community will make sure we have input into all issues as they relate to global addictions nursing and that we have access to resources beyond the USA. After all, IntNSA is the first truly international nursing addictions society, and as a key founding country we are grateful and proud that IntNSA USA was part of this journey.  We have much to learn and much to share with each other. But rest assured, we will not lose our USA focus.

If you have questions, please reach out to me directly at thewaites1000@yahoo.com. Look for an IntNSA USA launch meeting next spring. Commit to continue our work together so we can serve our mission to advance excellence in nursing care for the prevention and treatment of addictions for diverse populations across all practice settings through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development.  This mission is still true for IntNSA USA. 

Just a small request – we are eager to expand USA membership throughout all states and we are seeking fresh ideas, new faces (or old faces who haven’t felt able or had the time to step into the leadership light) please do reach out to me or the IntNSA USA Board – we are open to ideas, new conversations, and would truly welcome your input to grow and build on what has gone before. 

I look forward to our work together. Thank you.

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